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pofed him to have paffed the ftate of infancy before he loft hist father, and even to have remembered fome of his fayings. In the fourth Act, fc. iv. fpeaking of the famous Talbot, he says: "When I was young (as yet I am not old,) "I do remember how my father faid,
"A ftouter champion never handled fword."
But Shakspeare, as appears from two paffages, one in the fecond, and the other in the Third part of King Henry VI. knew that that king could not poffibly remember any thing his father had faid; and therefore Shakspeare could not have been the author of` the first part.
No fooner was I crept out of my cradle,
King Henry VI. P. II. A& IV. fc. ix. "When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old." King Henry VI. P. III. A& I. fc. i. The first of thefe paffages is found in the folio copy of The Second Part of King Henry VI. and not in The First Part of the Contention, &c. printed in quarto; and according to my hypothefis, was one of Shakspeare's additions to the old play. This therefore does not prove that the original author, whoever he was, was not likewise the author of The First Part of King Henry VI; but, what is more material to our present question, it proves that Shakspeare could not be the author of that play. The fecond of these paffages is found in The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, &c. and is a decifive proof that The First Part of King Henry VI. was written neither by the author of that tragedy, nor by Shakspeare.
2. A fecond internal proof that Shakspeare was not the author of the first part of these three plays, is furnished by that scene, (A& II. fc. v. Vol. XIII. p. 81,) in which it is faid, that the Earl of Cambridge raised an army against his fovereign. But Shakspeare in his play of King Henry V. has reprefented the matter truly as it was; the Earl being in the second Act of that historical piece condemned at Southampton for confpiring to affaffinate Henry.
3. I may likewise add, that the author of The Firß Part of King Henry VI. knew the true pronunciation of the word Hecate, and has used it as it is used by the Roman writers:
"I fpeak not to that railing Heca-té."
But Shakspeare in his Macbeth always ufes Hecate as a diffyllable; and therefore could not have been the author of the other piece.*
It may perhaps appear a minute remark, but I cannot help obferving that the second speech in this play ascertains the writer to have been very converfant with Hall's Chronicle:
Having now, as I conceive, vindicated Shakspeare from being the writer of The First Part of King Henry VI. it may feem unneceffary to enquire who was the author; or whether it was the production of the fame perfon or perfons who wrote the two pieces, entitled, The Firft Part of the Contention of the Two Houfes, &c. and The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, &c. However, I fhall add a word or two on that point.
We have already seen that the author of the play laft named could not have written The First Part of King Henry VI. The following circumstances prove that it could not have been written by the author of The First Part of the Contention, &c. fuppofing for a moment that piece, and The true Tragedie of the Duke of Yorke, &c. to have been the work of different hands.
1. The writer of The First Part of the Contention, &c. makes Salisbury fay to Richard Duke of York, that the perfon from whom the Duke derived his title, (he means his maternal uncle Edmund Mortimer, though he ignorantly gives him a different appellation,) was " done to death by that monftrous rebel Owen Glendower;" and Shakspeare in this has followed him :
"Sal. This Edmund, in the reign of Bolingbroke, "As I have read, laid claim unto the crown ; "And, but for Owen Glendower, had been king, "Who kept him in captivity, till he died."
On this false affertion the Duke of York makes no remark. But the author of The First Part of King Henry VI. has represented
"What should I say?+ his deeds exceed all fpeech."
This phrase is introduced on almost every occafion by that writer, when he means to be eloquent. Holinfhed, and not Hall, was Shakspeare's hiftorian (as has been already obferved); this therefore is an additional proof that this play was not our author's.
-Shakspeare in his Macbeth always uses Hecate as a dissyllable; and therefore could not have been the author of the other piece.] By fimilar reasoning we might infer that Shakspeare was not author of The Tempest; for in this play Stephano is properly accented, but erroneously [Stephano] in The Merchant of Venice; and that because Prosper occurs in one scene, and Profpero in another, that both scenes were not of Shakspeare's compofition. The fame might be faid of Antony and Cleopatra, in which both Enobarbe and Enobarbas are found. This argument alfo might lead us to imagine that part of the Iliad which paffes under the name of Mr. Pope, was not in reality translated by him; because in one book we have Idomeneus, Meriones, and Cebriones, and in another Idomen, Merion, and Cebrion. Moft certainly, both Shakspeare and Pope occafionally accommodated their proper names to the structure of their verses. The abbreviation---Hecat' is therefore no proof of our author's ignorance that Hecate' was usually a trifyllable. STEEVENS.
What should I say?] In page 611 of Mr. Malone's edition of King Richard III. Vol. VI. this very phrase occurs:
"What shall I say more than I have inferr'd ?" STEEVENS.
this Edmund Mortimer, not as put to death, or kept in captivity to the time of his death, by Owen Glendower, (who himself died in the fecond year of King Henry V) but as a ftate prisoner, who died in the Tower in the reign of King Henry VI. in the prefence of this very Duke of York, who was then only Richard Plantagenet.*
2. A correct ftatement of the iffue of King Edward the Third, and of the title of Edmund Mortimer to the crown, is given in The Firfi Part of King Henry VI. But in The First Part of the Contention, &c. we find a very incorrect and false statement of Edward's iffue, and of the title of Mortimer, whofe father, Roger Mortimer, the author of that piece ignorantly calls the fifth Son of that monarch. Those two plays therefore could not have been the work of one hand.
On all these grounds it appears to me clear, that neither Shakfpeare, nor the author of The First Part of the Contention, &c. or The true Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, &c. could have been the author of The First Part of King Henry VI.
It is obfervable that in The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI many thoughts and many modes of expreffion are found, which likewife occur in Shakspeare's other dramas: but in the First Part I recollect but one marked expreffion, that is alfo found in one of his undifputed performances:
"As I am fick with working of my thoughts."
So, in King Henry V:
Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a fiege." But furely this is too flight a circumstance to overturn all the other arguments that have now been urged to prove this play not the production of our author. The co-incidence might be accidental, for it is a co-incidence not of thought but of language; -or the expreffion might have remained in his mind in confequence of his having often feen this play; (we know that he has borrowed many other expreffions from preceding writers ;)-or laftly, this might have been one of the very few lines that he wrote on revifing this piece; which, however few they were, might, with other reafons, have induced the first publishers of his works in folio to print it with the second and third part, and to afcribe it to Shakspeare.
Before I quit this part of the fubject, it may be proper to mention one other circumftance that renders it very improbable that Shakspeare fhould have been the author of The First Part of K. Henry VI. In this play, though one fcene is entirely in rhyme, there are very few rhymes difperfed through the piece, and no
* See The First Part of King Henry VI. Vol. XIII. p. 73, and The Second Part, p. 239.
alternate rhymes; both of which abound in our author's undifputed early plays. This obfervation indeed may likewise be extended to the fecond and third part of these hiftorical dramas ; and perhaps it may be urged, that if this argument has any weight, it will prove that he had no hand in the compofition of thofe plays. But there being no alternate rhymes in thofe two plays may be accounted for, by recollecting that in 1591, Shakspeare had not written his Venus and Adonis, or his Rape of Lucrece; the measures of which perhaps infenfibly led him to employ a fimilar kind of metre occafionally in the dramas that he wrote fhortly after he had compofed thofe poems. The paucity of regular rhymes must be accounted for differently. My folution is, that working up the materials which were furnished by a preceding writer, he naturally followed his mode : and in the original plays from which these two were formed very few rhymes are found. Nearly the fame argument will apply to the first part; for its date alfo, were that piece Shakspeare's, would account for the want of alternate rhymes. The paucity of regular rhymes indeed cannot be accounted for by faying that here too our author was following the track of another poet; but the folution is unneceffary; for from the beginning to the end of that play, except perhaps in fome scenes of the fourth Act, there is not a fingle print of the footsteps of Shakspeare.
I have already observed, that it is highly improbable that The Firft Part of the Contention of the Two Houses of York and Lancaster, &c. and The true Tragedie of Richarde Duke of Yorke, &c. printed in 1600, were written by the author of The First Part of King Henry VI. By whom these two plays were written, it is not here neceffary to inquire; it is fufficient, if probable reasons can be produced for fuppofing this two-part piece not to have been the compofition of Shakspeare, but the work of fome preceding writer, on which he formed those two plays which appear in the first folio edition of his works, comprehending a period of twenty-fix years, from the time of Henry's marriage to that of his death.
II. I now therefore proceed to state my opinion concerning The Second and Third Part of King Henry VI.
"A book entituled, The First Part of the Contention of the Two famous Houfes of Yorke and Lancaster, with the Death of the good Duke Humphrie, and the Banishment and Deathe of the Duke of Yorke, and the tragical Ende of the proud Cardinal of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion of Jack Cade, and the Duke of Yorke's firft Claime unto the Crown, was entered at Stationers' Hall, by Thomas Millington, March 12, 1593-4. This play, however, (on which The Second Part of King Henry VI. is formed) was not then printed; nor was The true
Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, and the Death of good King Henry the Sixt, &c. on which Shakspeare's Third Part of King Henry VI. is founded) entered at Stationers' Hall at the fame time; but they were both printed for T. Millington in 1600.*
The first thing that strikes us in this entry is, that the name of Shakspeare is not mentioned; nor, when the two plays were published in 1600, did the printer afcribe them to our author in the title-page, (though his reputation was then at the highest,) as furely he would have done, had they been his compofitions.
In a fubfequent edition indeed of the fame pieces, printed by one Pavier, without date, but in reality in 1619, after our great poet's death, the name of Shakspeare appears; but this was a bookfeller's trick, founded upon our author's celebrity; on his having new-modelled thefe plays; and on the proprietors of the Globe and Blackfriars' theatre not having published Shakspeare's Second and Third Parts of King Henry VI. The very fame deception was practifed with respect to King John. The old play (written perhaps by the fame perfon who was the author of The Contention of the Two famous Houfes &c.) was printed in 1591, like that piece, anonymously. In 1611, (Shakspeare's King John, founded on the fame ftory, having been probably often acted and admired,) the old piece in two parts was reprinted; and, in order to deceive the purchafer, was faid in the title-page to be written by W. Sh. A fubfequent printer in 1622 grew more bold, and affixed Shakspeare's name to it at full length.
It is obfervable that Millington, the bookfeller, by whom The firft Part of the Contention of the Two famous Houfes, &c. was entered at Stationers' Hall, in 1593-4, and for whom that piece and The Tragedie of the Duke of York, &c. were printed in 1600, was not the proprietor of any one of Shakspeare's undifputed plays, except King Henry V. of which he published a Spurious copy, that, I think, must have been imperfectly taken "down in fhort hand in the play-house.
The next obfervable circumstance, with respect to these two quarto plays, is, that they are faid, in their title-pages, to have been "fundry times acted by the earle of Pembrooke his fervantes." Titus Andronicus and The old Taming of å Shrew, were acted by the fame company of comedians; but not one of our author's plays is faid, in its title-page, to have been acted by any but the Lord Chamberlain's, or the Queen's, or
*They were probably printed in 1600, becaufe Shakspeare's alterations of them were then popular, as King Leir and his Three Daughters was printed in 1605, because our author's play was probably at that time first produced.